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Movie Review: Elizabeth - The Golden Age

Alternate Title: Tantrum II

Story: It's hard being Queen and no one plays it better than Cate Blanchett as she returns to play an older, wiser, more isolated Elizabeth. First rate jobs again by returning director Shekhar Kapur and screenwriters, William Nicholson and Michael Hirst.

It is 1585 and Elizabeth has been on the throne for 27 years (forget about her not looking 52 - it does not matter). She is besieged by an imminent attack by Spain as they want to invade England, assassinate Protestant Elizabeth and put Mary, Queen of Scots on the thrown since she is a still a Catholic. Add sexual tension with hottie, Sir Walter Raleigh, who brings Elizabeth gifts of tobacco and potatoes from the colony he named after her, Virginia (for the Virgin Queen).

The film is visually magnificent and I applaud returning cinematographer, Remi Adefarasin for his amazing work. The costumes are lavish and the sets sumptuous. This is a first rate production and well worth your time.

Acting: Cate Blanchett is pure joy to watch on the screen. I have never seen her in a bad performance. Geoffrey Rush does what he does best, playing the wise sage, politico. Clive Owen, as Raleigh the hottie, looks a bit too modern for the part but I always like to watch him on the big screen. Samantha Morton as Mary, does fine job as the stoic, soon to be beheaded Queen. Lots of terrific performances by the ensemble cast.

Predilection: I liked the first Elizabeth film a great deal.

Critters: A zebra, python, dogs and horses who appear in some wonderful swimming sequences.

Food: Queens eat well.

Sex Spectrum: There is lots of talk of the virgin Queen but alas, she remains a virgin.

Soundtrack: Craig Armstrong, A.R. Rahman produce some soaring music.

Opening Titles: A short history lesson as to where and when superimposed over stained glass.

Visual Art: As mentioned, the cinematography is a beautiful treat for the eyes.

Theater Audience: About a dozen other Elizabethan fans.

Weather: The weather was typical of England.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Beheadings, torture and the cutting out of a tongue were very squirmy.

Drift Factor: I was riveted from beginning to end.

Predictability Level: High is you know a bit of history.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Big Screen or Rental: Go for the sumptuous big screen. For some of my favorite Cate Blanchett films you can rent: Notes on a Scandal, The Good German, Babel The Aviator, The Missing, Veronica Guerin, Heaven, Charlotte Gray. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Elizabeth and Oscar and Lucinda

Length: Under two hours.